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Babst Calland: 3rd Circuit Rules In Favor Of Shell Because Of Lease Unitization Clause

By Alana E. Fortna | On November 18, 2013, the Third Circuit affirmed a summary judgment ruling out of the Middle District of Pennsylvania in favor of Shell Western Exploration and Production, LP (Shell) in a case captioned as George W. Linder, et al. v. SWEPI, LP, a/k/a Shell Western Exploration...

Babst Calland: FERC Chairman Wellinghoff Departs

By Keith J. Coyle John Wellinghoff officially resigned his post as Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Sunday, November 24, 2013. Wellinghoff, the longest serving FERC Chairman in history, will be joining the law firm of Stoel Rives LLP. The now-departed FERC Chairman announced...

Babst Calland: ODNR Releases 2012 Ohio Oil And Gas Summary

By Michael T. Altvater The Ohio Department of Natural Resources released its annual oil and gas summary for 2012. The summary provides a comprehensive review of oil and gas permitting, drilling and production activity across the entire state of Ohio. The report can be accessed here . Copyright...

Babst Calland: Pennsylvania Supreme Court Declines To Hear Appeal In Caldwell v. Kriebel

By Lawrence H. Baumiller On November 26, 2013, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of the Superior Court’s decision in Caldwell v. Kriebel Resources Co. [ enhanced opinion available to lexis.com subscribers ], which held that an oil and gas lease does not contain an implied...

Babst Calland: Ohio House Of Representatives Proposes Increase In Severance Tax

By Benjamin J. Bolinger A bill to increase the severance tax on oil and gas drilling has been proposed in the Ohio House of Representatives. House Bill 375 would increase the severance tax for horizontal shale wells to 1% for the first five years of production, and to 2% after five years, if production...

Babst Calland: Department of the Interior Releases Semiannual Statement Of Regulatory Priorities

By Jonathan E. Dan The Department of the Interior has released its Statement of Regulatory Priorities , a subsection of which highlights the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)’s priorities on energy issues including hydraulic fracturing. BLM’s stated highest regulatory priorities include...

Babst Calland: Pennsylvania Court Rules Seneca Has Rights On Game Land

By Matthew L. Lambach On January 27 th , 2014, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania overruled in part and sustained in part the preliminary objections of Seneca Resources Corporation (Seneca) to a complaint filed by the Pennsylvania Game Commission (Commission) [ enhanced opinion available to lexis...

Babst Calland: National Transportation Safety Board Identifies Pipeline Safety as Key Issue

By Jonathan E. Dan The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has included “enhancing pipeline safety” on its 2014 Most Wanted List , which identifies its top 10 priorities for the year. The NTSB warns that although “[p]ipelines remain one of the safest and most efficient means...

Babst Calland: Advocates From Pa., Ohio, West Virginia Urge Common Approach To Shale Gas Taxation

By Joshua F. Hall As reported by Pittsburgh’s NPR News Station, 90.5 WESA, three advocacy groups, Leaders of Policy Matters Ohio, the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, and the West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy, sent a letter to the governors of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia...

Babst Calland: EPA Proposes Amendments to Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule for Petroleum and Natural Gas Systems

By Meredith Odato Graham This week the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a proposal to amend Subpart W of the greenhouse gas reporting program rules, which affects the Petroleum and Natural Gas Systems source category. According to EPA’s fact sheet , “[t]he proposal...

Babst Calland: Ohio Supreme Court Accepts Jurisdiction in Dormant Mineral Act Case

By Michael T. Altvater The Ohio Supreme Court has accepted jurisdiction of a discretionary appeal in Dodd v. Croskey , which involves Ohio’s Dormant Mineral Act (“DMA”). Under the DMA there are several “savings events” which may occur in the previous twenty years that...

Babst Calland: Pa. House Panel Approves Bill To Reform Guaranteed Minimum Royalty Act

By Elena L. Rorabaugh As reported by legal news website Law360 , a Pennsylvania bill was approved by the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee that would amend the Guaranteed Minimum Royalty Act of 1979 (GMRA) and will move to the House floor. House Bill 1684 would amend the GMRA to clarify...

Babst Calland: Ohio Decision Results in Victory for Oil and Gas Producers

By Jason M. Zoeller An Ohio trial court issued a decision in Marshall v. Beekay Company . The case involved an action seeking declaratory judgment as to leasehold rights for formations below the Germantown Sand Formation. The court ruled that there was no breach of the implied covenant to reasonably...

Babst Calland: Ohio Appellate Court Enforces Change In Ownership Clause in Lease

By Jessica L. Henry The Fifth District Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s decision in Trico Land Company, LLC v. Kenoil Producing LLC , upholding the right to have and enforce a change of ownership clause in an oil and gas lease. The case involved a property subject to a 2008 oil and...

Babst Calland: Natural Gas Fueled Powerplant Planned for Marshall County, West Virginia

By Morgan Condra Plans by Moundsville Power LLC to build a natural gas power plant were approved by members of the Marshall County Commission on April 22, 2014. The proposed 549 megawatt natural gas power plant is considered the first “downstream” project of its kind in West Virginia,...

Babst Calland: Ohio Trial Court Issues Dormant Mineral Act Decision

By Michael T. Altvater A Harrison County trial court issued a decision in a Dormant Mineral Act case addressing the issue of whether a release of an oil and gas lease is a title transaction affecting and preserving a severed mineral interest from being abandoned. The trial court in Schucht v. Bedway...

Babst Calland: Energy Transfer Partners Approves Construction of New Marcellus/Utica Pipeline

By Michael T. Altvater Energy Transfer Partners, L.P.’s board of directors has approved the construction of a new pipeline to transport gas to markets in the United States and Canada. The pipeline’s capacity is proposed to transport 2.2 billion cubic feet per day and may be expanded up...

Babst Calland: Ohio Oil and Gas Production Soars

By Michael T. Altvater Oil and gas production increased by 640% from 2012 to 2013 according to a report published by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The one year increase was the largest in Ohio history and is the most natural gas that Ohio has produced since 1982. Much of the increase is...

Babst Calland: Pennsylvania House and Senate Pass Budget Without Marcellus Gas Severance Tax

By Matthew L. Lambach Marcellus Drilling News reports that the Pennsylvania House and Senate passed a budget that did not include a Marcellus Shale severance tax. Governor Tom Corbett withheld his signature while he continues to work with lawmakers on pension reform. Copyright 2014 • Babst...

Babst Calland: New York’s Highest Court Upholds Right of Municipalities to Ban Oil and Gas Activities

By Michael C. Murphy Today the New York Court of Appeals issued an opinion affirming local zoning laws adopted by two upstate towns that prohibited oil and gas-related activities within their borders. Specifically, the Court ruled that there was nothing within the plain language, statutory scheme...

Babst Calland: Environmental Advocacy Groups Call for National Methane Emission Standards

By Holly A. Pisanelli On September 18, 2014, sixteen of the nation’s largest environmental advocacy groups joined forces in a letter to President Barack Obama calling for national standards aimed at reducing methane emissions from oil and gas operations. The letter urged the U.S. Environmental...

Babst Calland: Ohio Supreme Court Accepts Major Oil and Gas Lease Busting Case for Review

By Michael T. Altvater The Ohio Supreme Court accepted jurisdiction over Hupp v. Beck Energy , an important Ohio case involving the interpretation of oil and gas leases. The case involves a challenge by landowners in Monroe County to a standard form oil and gas lease. The landowners argued that the...

Babst Calland: Ohio Supreme Court Schedules Oral Argument in Dormant Mineral Act Cases

By Michael T. Altvater The Ohio Supreme Court scheduled oral argument in two significant Dormant Mineral Act (“DMA”) cases. Oral argument has been scheduled on Corban v. Chesapeake Exploration, L.L.C. for May 6, 2015. As previously reported on ShaleEnergyLawBlog, the Corban case is likely...

Babst Calland: Pennsylvania High Court Prohibits Tolling of Oil and Gas Leases During Litigation

By Steven B. Silverman [On Feb. 17], the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued Harrison v. Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. , a significant opinion in which the Court refused to apply equitable tolling principles that other oil and gas jurisdictions have adopted [ enhanced opinion available to lexis.com subscribers...

Babst Calland: First Installment of Quadrennial Energy Review Recommends Investment in Energy Infrastructure

By Holly A. Pisanelli The White House recently released a report from the first Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) , focusing on U.S. energy transmission, storage and distribution infrastructure. In January 2014, President Obama directed the administration to conduct the QER as part of his Climate Action...